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Final Fantasy VI - Retranslated for the SNES

18 August 2019 10:17AM EST - Update by hairy_hen

ROM Hacks News - RHDN Project Page

As a popular game whose localization for the SNES was highly memorable, the script writing for Final Fantasy VI is a topic frequently discussed in fan circles. But the sheer number of translation errors in its original English release, compounded by the alterations and inaccuracies found in later versions, have had the result of obscuring and distorting many of the details of the story.

In response to this, user hairy_hen decided that it would be appropriate to rewrite the script for Final Fantasy VI, in order to create a version for the SNES that faithfully presents all of the story and character details found in the Japanese original. Drawing upon his experience as a story editor, and closely following the live translation featured on Legends of Localization, hairy_hen went through the entire game and rewrote the dialog line by line, in order to restore all of the missing and distorted information. With the details presented in a correctly translated form, the internal logic of the story becomes much clearer. The focus of the plot is more unified and comprehensible, and the flow of each conversation becomes consistent in tone and coherence.

The overriding goal was to be as accurate to the intent of the original script as possible, but to keep the text in a form that would read naturally in English, rather than trying to replicate the quirks of Japanese grammar. With debates about the wording of specific lines often overshadowing discussions about the story, hairy_hen found it necessary to take an objective approach to the merits and shortcomings of previous releases. Consequently, while he did retain some of the memorable “flavor text” from earlier versions, he eliminated any changes in the dialog that interfered with the meaning of the story, and generally preferred to rewrite rather than hang on to the earlier phrasing.

The character of Cyan, whose speech had been somewhat mangled in previous releases by incorrect application of archaic grammar, was rewritten most extensively of all. Researching works dating from the time of Early Modern English allowed Cyan’s dialog to be written in a way that convincingly reflects the usage from this period, while remaining clearly understandable to a modern audience. Additional documentation about the specifics of the style is also provided.

The project’s aims also included the translation of non-story text; and therefore the game’s enemies, items, spells, and other abilities were renamed for the sake of accuracy. Most of these used the official names from Square Enix, but some were changed as needed in order to more closely reflect the Japanese originals. Mistakes in their accompanying descriptions were also corrected. To streamline the experience of the player, bug fixes were applied to eliminate potentially game-breaking glitches in the original code, and a few small enhancements such as B-button dashing were included for convenience. The Japanese title screen and uncensored graphics are also present in this version.

Since the Legends of Localization video series made it plainly obvious just how many previously undocumented translation mistakes the game actually contained, the necessity of creating a version that would rectify all of the issues became clear. This release, therefore, is aimed at anyone who prefers to play the game in its original form for the SNES, but without any of the associated textual problems. With its focus on story, Final Fantasy VI: Retranslated is designed particularly to appeal to those who wish to immerse themselves in the world of the game, and to experience a version that adheres as closely as possible to the intentions of the game’s writers.

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